Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Golden

Here's a little number that will cause a tremendous stomach ache: Foi Thong (Golden Threads), Thong Yip (Golden Egg Drop), and Thong Yod (Golden Egg cake). Egg yolks cooked in boiling syrup. The ants will love it.

It's a specialty of Phetchaburi. While I was there I ate too many. I have no photographic evidence as after taking one bite, I was a mess, and in no state to operate a camera. This one here I quickly snatched up yesterday against my better judgement.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What do you people eat!?

Mangosteen
The other week at lunch time, a group of co-workers and I shared a couple plates of mangosteens. Two of these co-workers are long term residents of Thailand, but neither of them had even had a mangosteen before. (Note: Mangosteens are perhaps my favorite fruit in Thailand. Durian might take the cake if I felt it counted; it's not really very fruity now is it?) This left me wondering just what the hell foreign residents of Thailand actually eat on a day to day basis. I gave a quick lesson on how you open a mangosteen. I told them the price for a kilo, 20 Baht, and they were well impressed. I left lunch kind of befuddled by the while episode but reminded that even with an abundance of great and cheap food available on every street corner, many never take advantage for whatever reason. Recently my father, who is currently visiting from Oregon with my mother, tried his first mangosteen and declared it the best fruit he had ever tasted. After introducing my parents to as many thai fruits, snacks, desserts, and dishes, I declared that they had in fact tried more Thai food than many expats I know.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ayutthaya Dining

My parents are visiting so this weekend we went to Ayutthaya. I wanted to show them the sprawling ruins, and feed them excellent food.

Whenever I leave Bangkok, I spend a good amount of time enjoying local food specialties, and a slower pace of life. One thing I also always do is visit the markets. Although I do often visit my neighborhood morning market, it is nothing like the sprawling markets I frequent outside of town. Although Bangkok has its share of large markets, none of them are paticularly close to my house. Thus, getting out of Bangkok allows me the opportunity to really enjoy the morning market culture. Here's what I do when I go to the morning market: pick up a variety of kanom, or snacks, then find a Coffee and Tea Vendor and plop down and watch the vendors and other other traffic.
This day's meal was a light affair after a previous day's food orgy. All we had this day was Pa Thong Koh: essentially fried dough with hint of salt. Good with tea, coffee, or rice porridge.

We also had Kanom Krok (a personal fave) which are coconut pudding cakes. I like the banana leaf boats. Ahoy!


Dinner was a little trickier. I always bemoan the difficulty in finding a decent place to eat in Bangkok, or anywhere else really. I can find good food on any street but am really frustrated by how many mediocre restraunts I have been to in Bangkok. A recommendation was in order. I'll just be honest here: I more or less followed in Realthai's footsteps to visit the exquisite Baan Wacharachai and frankly, it was one of the best Thai meals I have ever had. Enjoy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Squid

I love squid. I'll eat it any chance I get. One time when it's especially hard to pass up is grilled on sticks like these.

I think the secret is barely cooking it. It turns out very moist and tender this way. Not tough at all.

A perfect squid is made even better with a lime and chili sauce. Snacks like these ruin many a meal. This is not a complaint.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Another Variation


I'll eat this in any form. This one is just tapioca, coconut, some kind of sugar, perhaps a little salt. It came in a bag in nice bite sized pieces, and two sticks. If you want to be my friend, buy me this.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sugar Apple


Here's the sugar apple, or Noi-Na, as it's called in Thailand. I guess this means grenade for obvious reasons. I've known this fruit for a number of years, but only eaten a couple in Thailand for no reason in particular.

I first ate a fruit like this in Mexico some years ago, but it was called Cherimoya (see below). It's of the same genus. They are very similar, as is the custard apple, which I have never had. Often one fruit is misnamed as another as they all look and taste very similar. I'm not always sure what it is I'm eating...

Well, how do they taste? Very tropical, sugary sweet (hence the name), perhaps like a mix of some familiar fruits. No I won't venture to say as opinions on this vary.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Miang Kham

Here's a real favorite of mine. It's an old school snack that nicely highlights some very quintessential Thai flavors. Let's dig in!

What we have here is a to go version of the snack that i bought at Sai Yok Noi Waterfall in Kanchanaburi province the other day. 30 Baht seemed a bit steep, but I wasn't passing this one up. It came with onions, ginger, chilis,

limes, peanuts, dried shrimp, and toasted coconut.

You place a little bit of everything into lovely little leaves, and top with a sweet sauce. What the leaves are, I am not certain but the leaves themselves may vary by vendor.

Just remember to put a bit of everything in or the flavors won't be balanced. The vendor gave you a little of each for a reason: the right mix and balance of flavors. It's no time to be squeemish about that one ingredient you don't like. Wrap it, eat it, enjoy it.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Guava

Sometimes the simplest snacks are the most common. In my office at work, guavas are a common snack. Here's one I bought this morning out of the back of a truck.

It's really quite large isn't it? Anyhow, this is an apple guava, Native to South America. At some time in the past they got popular in South East Asia, and now they are everywhere in Thailand. This here guava is nothing like the ones I have eaten elsewhere. Pretty firm, not particularly juciy, but still enjoyable. Also, in Thailand, people cut out the middle which just so happens to be the sweetest part!

In Thailand, it is not unusual to eat your guava with sugar and chili. But I like to eat mine whole, without any kind of condiment.

One guava like this is more than enough for two.